Come Friday 13th, spooky and haunted buildings invariably invade the mindscape of many in the city who believe in the supernatural. And it is often those colonial era bungalows, incomplete apartment complexes, and homes that have kept ghost stories alive in the city. However, the real estate market views these urban legends as ‘protection’ for the building.
Kumaran, a watchman who works near Pachaiyappa’s College says that despite the colonial-era bungalow opposite the college being abandoned, some anti-social elements still come there to drink. “Hearing the noises and laughter late in the night has added to the rumours of the building being haunted, so people stay away. In a way, this prevents squatters,” he says.
Urban legends of ghost sightings and unusual sounds/noises being heard around these buildings are spread mostly by word of mouth. The Government Museum and the Madras Record Office (now known as TN Archives Library) in Egmore are also well known for their resident ghosts, according to some serving and former employees of these institutions. Another popular ‘haunted’ part of the city is a bylane near Theosophical Society that is said to be now protected by a huge number of good luck charms on the walls, added to the myth.